May 7, 2015 — The worldwide GfK Public Affairs research organization, in conjunction with the Associated Press, conducted a nationwide poll of American attitudes and perceptions for the coming presidential election year.
The survey of 1,077 US adults was conducted during the April 23-27 period. The methodology appears very sound, correctly capturing the national demographic percentage divisions on race, religion, political party, and education level. Though the survey screened for registered voters and found that 80 percent of the respondents can participate in elections, the results were not divided into specific reporting segments. Overall, the GfK-AP polling conclusions appear methodologically consistent with a high degree of reliability.
Since this is an issues and attitudes poll, no ballot test questions were asked. The aggregate polling sample has a decidedly negative outlook, though, as only two of 17 presidential candidates (12 Republicans and five Democrats) were found with higher positive ratings than negative. Hillary Clinton (D) and Dr. Ben Carson (R) were the two individuals posting favorable ratios – 46:41 percent for Clinton, while Carson registered 15:12 percent – but neither of these totals are particularly impressive. Continue reading >
May 5, 2015 — The group of Republican presidential candidates is expanding by three, as former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and retired Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson officially launched their national political efforts yesterday, and former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee made his entry official today.
Fiorina, the only woman in the Republican field to date, is already isolating herself with Hillary Clinton in order to offer a stark comparison about the direction each woman would lead the county should one of them be elected at the end of next year. Obviously, the outlook for both is much different beyond ideology and political philosophy. While former secretary of state, senator, and First Lady Clinton looks to be in the catbird seat to capture the Democratic nomination, Fiorina, a failed California US Senate candidate, is among the longest of shots on the Republican side.
Dr. Carson, a renowned medical practitioner who once successfully severed Siamese twins, came into the political realm with a 2013 National Prayer Breakfast speech, with President Obama sitting only a few seats away, and spoke critically of the state of American culture; it attracted great attention around the country. Dr. Carson has been on the speaking and writing circuit ever since, and though not a national figure, he has in the recent past polled equivalently with Jeb Bush in several state surveys. Continue reading >
May 4, 2015 — Rasmussen Reports (RR) went into the field this week to query one thousand randomly selected likely voters (April 27-28) about Hillary Clinton in order to determine if the current controversy surrounding her is changing perceptions. Specifically tested was the speculation that the Clinton Foundation accepted millions of dollars in (legally) undisclosed foreign donations, and whether such action affected her decision-making and actions as Secretary of State.
The results can’t be considered encouraging for her. A whopping 63 percent of the respondents say they believe that “some actions Secretary Clinton took were influenced by donations made to the Clinton Foundation.” According to RR, 42 percent said it is “very likely” that the donations influenced her official decisions. Conversely, only 12 percent said such is “not at all likely” and 30 percent believe it is “unlikely” that money to the foundation played a role in how she handled her cabinet position.
Additionally, a majority of those polled, 51 percent, say they “do not trust” the former First Lady as compared to 37 percent who do. Not surprisingly, 89 percent of those saying they don’t trust Clinton believe that the donations influenced the execution of her official duties. But, perhaps more troubling, 34 percent of the segment saying they do trust her also believe the money drove at least some of her actions as secretary of state. Continue reading >
May 1, 2015 — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders officially entered the Democratic presidential sweepstakes Wednesday, saying that he is not running just to move Hillary Clinton to the left. Sanders, elected to the Senate in 2006 after serving eight terms in the House, will be on the ballot as a Democrat for the first time.
A self-proclaimed socialist, the eccentric senator has served his entire congressional career as an Independent who only caucuses with the Democrats. Prior to winning his first federal election, Sanders presided for eight years as the mayor of Vermont’s largest city, Burlington.
In a move having little to do with Sanders entering the race, Hillary Clinton coincidentally delivered a major policy address from Columbia University that was a clear signal to her party’s left flank, however. But her speech motivation didn’t involve Sanders, who is of little threat to her for the Democratic presidential nomination, but rather to attempt to attract those on the far left aligning with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and solidify the most loyal of Democratic constituencies, African Americans. But, she may have opened herself up for serious attacks on a couple of fronts by doing so. Continue reading >
April 30, 2015 — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has been quiet during the past month, but if the new Iowa Public Policy Polling presidential nomination survey (April 23-26; 462 likely Iowa Republican caucus attenders; 469 likely Iowa Democratic caucus attenders) is any indication his momentum continues, nevertheless.
Walker, who reportedly will announce his presidential candidacy next month, tops this poll of likely Iowa Caucus attenders with 23 percent preference from the sample group respondents. Continuing his upward move since making his own presidential announcement on April 13, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio jaunts into second place but remains a full 10 percentage points behind Gov. Walker.
Jeb Bush, in another disappointing showing, places third at 12 percent, with former Arkansas governor and 2008 Iowa Caucus winner Mike Huckabee and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) rounding out the group in double-digits. Both of these men tie with 10 percent support. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the other formally announced participant among the tested group of nine candidates and potential contenders, scored eight percent.
Another eight individuals, including 2012 Iowa Caucus winner Rick Santorum, were not included on the ballot test question, but PPP did survey their personal approval ratings. Continue reading >
April 29, 2015 — Majority state legislative Republicans, led by Assembly Speaker John Hambrick, are moving a bill to change Nevada’s presidential nominating system from a caucus to a primary. A companion measure has been introduced in the state Senate.
The initiative, if both houses pass and Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) signs the bill(s) into law, is quite significant considering Nevada is one of just four states the Republican National Committee sanctions for voting prior to March 1, 2016. The measure(s) would schedule the new Republican primary for Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016, just ahead of the Saturday (Feb. 27, 2016) South Carolina primary and behind the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary that is tentatively targeted for Tuesday, Feb. 9. The nation’s first caucus vote, held in Iowa, is scheduled to occur on or around Feb. 1, 2016.
The legislators do not appear to be attempting to aid any one particular candidate, though the candidates with more in the way of campaign financial resources should benefit to the detriment of those depending upon a strong grassroots precinct organizations. Rather, their stated goal is to increase voter participation and avoid what state Republican Party chairman Michael McDonald said hurt the state in 2012. Continue reading >
April 27, 2015 — Quinnipiac University conducted a new nationwide poll (April 16-21; 1,323 registered voters; 567 Republican primary voters, 569 Democratic primary voters) and found a new leader among the prospective Republican candidates: Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
According to the data, Rubio, clearly receiving a major bump from his major announcement event that earned him positive national media coverage, leads the growing pack of GOP hopefuls but with a small 15 percent preference factor. Fellow Floridian Jeb Bush is next with 13 percent, followed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker who posts 11 percent. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is fourth with nine percent, followed by all the others in lower single-digits.
For the Democrats, it is again Hillary Clinton easily leading Vice President Joe Biden, 60-10 percent. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) follows with eight percent, and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley registers only three percent preference. Continue reading >